the psychology of brexit, trump & the alt right

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The Psychology of Brexit, Trump and the rise in populism and the alt-right

by Dr Nicholas Beecroft

8 Ways of thinking- Psychological DNALife Conditions> activate HOW people think > WHAT people think > WHY they behavePeople normally span 2-3 main vMemes1-6 think theyre right & suppress those belowDifferent Memes can exist at each levelHealthy & Unhealthy expressions NOT types of people









8 Value Memesthink of these 8 ways of thinking as the hardware they determine HOW we thinkthese get switched on when the situation requires itwithin each way of thinking- the HOW we think is the particular WHAT we think - like the software which we upload to it- the particular ideas, values and beliefs.We then express these as behaviour, as culture & institutions Everyone starts at Survival level thinking and then sequentially, we develop more complex levels of thinking as the situation requires it. In our modern life conditions we seriously need to activate all 8 ways of thinking but most people only operate 2-3 at any one time and do not see the whole spectrum. Each particular manifestation of the way of thinking can be healthy or unhealthy. It can help us to adapt and thrive or can be harmful these are ways of thinking, not types of people this is not a hierarchy from bad to good or stupid to clever, it is a hierarchy of complexity of thinkinguntil we reach the top 2 ways of thinking- integral and holistic, each of the lower 6 ways of thinking think that they are right and all the others are wrong. They suppress the ones that come before them and block the development of the nextEach way of thinking arises to solve the problems and challenges of our life conditionswe then create new institutions, new behaviour and new culture each of which creates a new life conditions with new set of problems and challenges which activates the next level of thinking to solveWe tend to move up the hierarchy as we get older and more mature and as our culture becomes more complex but we also downshift when the situation requires it.

ValuesSurvival; reproductionThinkingInstincts, reflexes, intuition, reactiveBehaviourWhatever is required to survive. Herd behaviour, seek basic necessitiesExamplesHunter-gatherers, Infants, Elderly, Emergency, Sickness, War, RefugeesPathology/excessNo self. Brutal. No control. Fear. No security.

Beige: SurvivalSense

SurvivalEach of way of thinking has been given a colour code as a shorthand to ease communication once you understand the theoryThe first is BEIGE- survival thinkingWe start here as a newborn baby and then reactivate it in emergency situations, when seriously ill and most of you will have experienced it in your military experiences In a life & death situation, survival is THE top value and we do whatever is necessary to survivethe thinking tends to be instinctive and reactive

Purple: KinSpiritsValuesSafety/security; protection; family bondsThinkingWe are all one. Them and us. Animistic, magical-mystical, ethnocentric, taboos; superstitions; folk loreBehaviourDefer to traditions, Chief, Elders, Spirits. Rituals; tribal; rites; ancestor worship, sacred places, shrinesExamplesAge 3-7, Ethnic groups, Family, Sports teams, Companies, Military Unit, Club, Doctors, Magic, Fantasy, Disney, Nursery rhymes, sacral plexus, my word is my bondPathology/excessRacism, genocide, oppressive, stifling, honour killing, patriarchy, nepotism, inward looking, vulnerable to external threats

PurpleImagine the early humans 100,000 years ago. Once they survived, they reproduced fast and there would have been competition for land, sex and resources so security becomes the number one valuePeople form family groups and tribes for protectionPurple thinking arises in a child age 3-7 when they are immersed in the family unit.The thinking is we are all one, them and us. Its magical, mystical and sacred. its felt as security or fear in the lower abdomenWe defer to the head of the family, the tribal chiefs, elders and shaman and follow tradition Im in the doctors tribe, the British tribe my family tribe. We have it in sports teams, military units, folk tales, ethnic tribes and the Muslim Umma. It provides security but can become stifling, oppressive and stops us learning. It can lead to racism, honour killing, nepotism and genocide.Eventually, people want to break out of that

Red: PowerGodsValuesPower/action; control, sex, control, freedom, position, reputation, respect, avoid shame, status, vitality, youth, willThinkingEgocentric; impulsiveBehaviourCourageous, risk-taking. Command. Asserting dominance, conquest, and power; exploitive; impulsive; prowess, showy, sexual, seek pleasure, politics. Manipulation. Break free, form alliances, Predatory/Prey ExamplesPolitics, top dog, big boss, heroes, warriors, Warlords, Conquerors, Feudal kingdoms, Terrible Twos, Teenagers, adventurers, pirates, Gangs, Mafia, terrorists, City traders, entrepreneurs, competition, sports, Solar PlexusPathology/excessContant war, conflict, fear, abuse, corruption, crime, insecurity, injustice. Life cruel and purposeless, shame, revenge, victim mentality

RedThe RED system first emerges in the terrible twos and the teenager who wants to break out of the PURPLE family systemThe top values are power, freedom and egoI want power, sex, status, reputation and respect nowIn its healthy form its essential for us to do bold and courageous things like an entrepreneur investing in some huge project, its the warrior energy of a soldier or policeman, its the competitive instinct of a sportsman. This is the world of chimpanzee politics in which the most powerful males compete to be the head of the most powerful allianceWhen the RED system goes too far, it leads to exploitation of the weak by the strong, bullying, sadism, crime, corruption, slavery and bullying. The RED system has a shadow side of shame, revenge and victim mentality.Unchecked it leads to ISIS, gangs and mediaeval kingdoms

Blue: TruthForceValuesStability/order; meaning, justice, truth, higher purpose & authorityThinkingGuilt, Reason & logic. Doctrine, tradition. absolutist, reason, logic, patriotism, meaning, purpose, righteousnessBehaviourBring order. Obey authority; conform, tradition; morality; rules; law, sacrifice now for later reward, structures, processes, codes of conduct, ranks, doctrine, punish badness, managementExamples7-8 Years, patriotism, religion, Scientific Method, police, military, ideology; bureaucracy, hierarchy, regulation, education, charity, crusade & jihad Pathology/excessFundamentalism, rigidity, intolerance, fail to adapt or learn, no reward or pleasure, abuse of authority, BLUE vs. BLUE apocalyptic conflict

Eventually, people crave order, justice, truth, righteousness and stability >> BLUEfirst arises 7-8 yrs with guilt and the desire to seek approval from an authority figure BLUE thinking is that there is one right way with the rules of right and wrong, true and false. We submit to authority and sacrifice now for gains later.its the structure which holds things together and keeps a boot on the head of the RED systemIt first arose culturally as religion and bureaucracy and we see it in law, mathematics, logic, hierarchy, the national state, regulation, ideology and doctrine.If it becomes extreme it becomes fundamentalist, intolerant, rigid, joyless

Orange: StriveDriveValuesOpportunity, success; results, influence, choose ones own destiny, prosperity, image; status; growthThinkingPragmatic; multiplistic; meritocratic, materialist, analyse, strategise, scientific, progress, secularBehaviourCompete, get ahead; learn; experimentation, harness nature, goal setting, delegate authorityExamplesIndustrial revolution, Higher education, Capitalism, Meritocracy, freedom of thought and speech, individual liberty, democracy, technology, consumerism; companies, middle class, Evidence-based medicine, best-practice, Total Quality Managment, Business process reengineering, market forcesPathology/excessInequality, dehumanisation, spiritual deficit, undermine nation & cohesion, pollution, environmental damage, unsustainability, wealthhappiness, loss of identity, undermine community & tradition. Americanisation, Westernisation.

Eventually, people question the absolute truths of the Blue system and use their own mind and choose their own destiny. They get educated, learn skills and strive for success. Orange is pragmatic, scientific, entrepreneurial & secular. They experiment, learn and choose the best idea or process to get the best resultsThis first emerged culturally with the enlightenment, industrial revolution, capitalism, individual liberty & democracy.We see it today as a dominant force in the developed world in science, technology, and market forces which have lead to globalisation and complexityIts downside is that it tends to value those things you can measure with a number which excludes all the most important things in life- love, care, trust, freedom, security etc. It devalues the human spirit, undermines tradition, family, God, identity, the environment and winners and losers, inequality

Green: HumanBondValuesHarmony, love, personal growth; awareness, authenticity, equality, diversity, fairness, human potential, inner peace, feelings; ThinkingSees all perspectives but still thinks its right; Humanistic; Egalitarian; inclusive; relativistic; humanitarian, non-judgmentBehaviourSeek consensus, dialogue, challenge authority, personal development, spiritual seeking; create community, discover & live your purposeExamplesHuman rights, anti-discrimination, human rights, social responsibility, welfare, multiculturalism, anti-racism, feminism, Greenpeace, Liberty, Amnesty

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